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News Thursday, Jul 21 2016

Day Four: One Nation, Divided Under Trump

Jul 21, 2016

After suffering another off the rails night in Cleveland–this time courtesy of Ted Cruz–the Trump campaign will attempt to salvage a disaster of a convention on its final night. With the Trump campaign’s inept handling of the plagiarism scandal, one of Trump’s top advisers calling for the execution of Hillary Clinton, and another botched vice presidential roll-out, the Trump team and the RNC desperately need a massively positive performance from headliner Donald Trump tonight.

The final night of the convention features Trump’s formal acceptance of the Republican nomination for president. With the few party elites who deigned to show up having already spoken, Thursday’s speakers are largely political unknowns. As they seek the spotlight while clutching to Trump’s coattails, we can expect praise to be heaped upon Trump. This shouldn’t be a difficult task as so many of tonight’s speakers share a number of personal characteristics with the Republican nominee.
    • Like, Trump, Blackburn is no stranger to campaign finance issues. (We’re still waiting on your tax returns, Donald.) Blackburn has a nasty habit of filing errors, receiving 33 letters from the Election Commission identifying 90 possible filing errors in her first three campaigns. Like Trump, Blackburn has also made politics a family affair, paying her son-in-law’s lobbying firm about a million dollars to lobby the federal government since 2004. 
  • On Monday we looked at how Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s anti-choice, anti-gay, and anti-Muslim record aligns with Trump’s. Aside from sharing similar policy positions, Fallin mirrors Trump’s proclivity for engaging in wild conspiracy theories. In an interview with Lou Dobbs–a Trump-level conspiracy theorist in his own right–Fallin suggested that President Obama “sent a signal” to migrant children coming to the country from Central America. It’s unclear if President Obama used semaphore flags, smoke signals, or a more sinister method to signal migrants, but what is clear is that Fallin shares Trump’s affinity for using outlandish conspiracy theories to scare and mislead the public. 
    • Falwell also shares Trump’s view that women should be punished for terminating a pregnancy. In the Liberty University handbook from 2011, abortion is listed in the “sanctions” section in the same category as offenses such as sexual assault, felony convictions, and unauthorized use of a weapon.    
As Trump’s crumbling coronation draws to a merciful end, the blustery nominee is surrounding himself with faithful allies who share his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-woman rhetoric. Throw in some campaign finance issues, outrageous conspiracy theories, and bizarre hero-worship of Trump and you have a night to remember at the RNC.
A full look at the Trumpiness of tonight’s speakers is available here

Published: Jul 21, 2016

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